Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens

8.8 Rating

An affordably-priced true macro lens with an ideal focal length for portraiture.The 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro sits in the middle of Sigma’s range of 1:1 true macro lenses. Keenly priced, it is designed for use with full frame digital SLR cameras, but can also be fitted to DSLRs with smaller APS-C size sensors. It covers a similar field of view to a 158mm lens in 35mm format when fitted to Nikon, Pentax and Sony cameras with 1.5x crop factors or 168mm with Canon DSLRs.

Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 Lens

8.5 Rating

The latest iteration of a classic, affordably-priced, mid-range macro lens.Although Tamron has been producing 90mm macro lenses since the late 1970s, the latest SP AF90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 lens is the first with Tamron’s latest Di (Digitally Integrated Design) technology, which matches the performance characteristics of current DSLR cameras. The new lens features improved coatings that reduce reflected light bouncing off the mirror-like surface of the sensor, thereby ensuring the full colour and contrast ranges in subjects are recorded.

Tamron SP AF 60mm f/2 Di II Macro Lens

8.5 Rating

A fast, well-built macro lens for cameras with APS-C sized image sensors.Tamron’s SP AF 60mm f/2 Di II Macro lens is considerably lighter and a full f-stop faster than the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens we reviewed recently. This SP (Super Performance) lens covers a focal length equivalent to 93mm in 35mm format with Nikon and Sony cameras or 96mm on the Canon EOS 40D camera we used for our review, which makes it also suitable for portraiture.

Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Lens

8.5 Rating

A fast, high-performance standard zoom lens for digital SLR cameras.Although Tamron’s SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] lens has been designed for cameras with 36 x 24mm sensors, it is also usable on cameras with smaller, APS-C sized sensors, where it covers a focal length range of 44.8-120mm on Canon DSLRs or 42-112.5mm on all the rest. The fast f/2.8 maximum aperture applies throughout the 2.7x zoom range with both sensor sizes.

Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Lens

9 Rating

A ‘premium-class’ update to Tamron’s budget-priced 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di lens.Tamron’s SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens was released in time for the company’s 60th anniversary. The ‘SP’ label denotes ‘professional’ build quality, while other welcome additions include an Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD) AF drive motor and Vibration Compensation (VC) stabilisation plus Full Time Manual focusing when the lens is in AF mode.

Tamron AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II Lens

9 Rating

A compact and affordable extended-range zoom lens that will suit travelling photographers.In its new AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Macro lens, Tamron has provided an impressive 13.9x zoom magnification yet only added 0.2 mm in diameter and 0.6 mm in overall length to the dimensions of the AF18-200mm Di-II lens. Designed specifically for DSLR cameras with ‘APS-C’ sized image sensors, this lens covers the equivalent of 27-375mm on Nikon, Pentax and Sony camera bodies and 28.8-400mm on a Canon DSLR. We tested the lens on the new Nikon D60, which lacks a built-in focus drive motor and, therefore, relies on the AF motor in the lens for all autofocusing.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Lens

8.8 Rating

A fast, high-performance 50mm prime lens for DSLR cameras from Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony.The 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM is the first large-aperture 50mm prime lens to be manufactured by Sigma and the company has gone to considerable lengths to include the latest designs and technology. Unlike the 50mm f/1.4 primes from other manufacturers, which use designs that hark back to the 1970s, this lens is bang up-to-date, with a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensuring silent, high-speed AF; a non-rotating front element and a moulded aspherical optical component.

PC-E Micro Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Lens

8.5 Rating

A highly specialised lens that provides control over the plane of focus and is usable for shooting close-ups.Nikon’s PC-E Micro Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED lens is the latest in a series of perspective control (PC) lenses that have been produced by the company over many years. Offering a shift range of plus or minus 11.5mm and tilt of plus or minus 8.5 degrees, it can also be rotated through plus or minus 90-degrees in 30-degree increments. In all respects, this is a pretty wide range – but it’s only achievable on camera bodies with 36 x 24mm sensors. The lens can also be used on cameras with smaller imagers, but its adjustability will be limited.

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Lens

8.8 Rating

A high-quality, general purpose lens for Sony’s Alpha digital cameras.Designed to suit the 23.6 x 15.8mm image sensors on Sony’s Alpha DSLR cameras, the new Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA lens covers a focal length range equivalent to 24-120mm in 35mm format. Although described as ‘the first professional-grade 5x zoom lens specifically designed for APS format DSLRs’ it’s probably better seen as a ‘pro-sumer’ lens. It’s an excellent general-purpose lens for the A700 and A350 models, whose high resolutions can capitalise on its performance.

Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM Lens

8.5 Rating

A fast, high-performance mid-range zoom lens for Sony’s Alpha DSLR cameras.The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM is a ‘prestige’ lens resulting from a collaboration between the well-known lens manufacturer, Carl Zeiss, and Sony. Made in Japan, it carries both Zeiss and Sony branding and has the model number SAL2470Z. Its focal length range of the covers an angle-of-view range equivalent to 36-105mm in 35mm format with ‘APS-C’ sized sensor on the A350 body we used for this review.